2020! I moved to Rome in 2010, so it is a bit crazy to see this number on the calendar. It is also how crazy how insanely busy Rome is at the beginning of January. The sunny winter weather has brought the crowds while they hit the streets of Rome to enjoy the final days of the 12 days of Christmas and the other January 2020 events in Rome.
NYE is a big deal in Rome, as is the Epiphany. Schools (and some businesses) are still closed through the January 6th holiday, while everyone waits for La Befana to arrive. Luckily, the Christmas market in Piazza Navona has reopened after being unexpectedly shut down by police in mid-December.
After January 6th, things will calm down a little bit. However, there are plenty of other events and exhibits in Rome to keep you busy in January 2020.
January 2020 Events in Rome
1-6 January: New Year’s Day is an official holiday in Italy so many things will be closed. However, keep in mind that some businesses might keep their doors closed through January 6th. That, combined with big holiday crowds, means you should make reservations and buy skip the line tickets if you plan to visit.
4 January: The saldi (sales) starts in Italy! These only happen twice a year (winter and summer) so it is a great time to stock up on new leather boots or anything your little retail heart desires.
5 January: The first Sunday of the month means free entrance to many of the major sites and museums in Rome. Be sure to take advantage of Domenica al Museo if you happen to be in Italy (it takes places across the country, not just in Lazio).
6 January: January 6th is a national holiday in Italy known as the Epiphany. There are religious links to the holiday but it is celebrated by just about everyone – especially those with children because it is when La Befana comes to fill their stockings. This is the last day of the 12 days of Christmas and things return to normal after today.
11-12 January: Citta dell’altra Economia that is now a part of the Ex-Mattaoio in Testaccio is hosting a local market from 10 am to 8 pm. If the weather is nice, it is also a great place to sit out in the sun with a drink from the organic cafe located in the back.
25-26 January: If you love natural wine, this is one of my favorite events in Rome. Vignaioli Naturali is a two-day wine tasting at the Westin where you can sample wines from 80 producers from Italy and Europe.
26 January: The Vatican Museums are free the last Sunday of the month. Be sure to go early and be prepared to wait in line if you want to get in on the deal.
Exhibits in Rome January 2020
Bacon, Freud, and the School of London: There is still time to see the highly anticipated exhibit of works by Bacon and Freud. The painting from London are currently at Chiostro del Bramante through 23 February 2020.
Impressonisti Segreti: Palazzo Bonaparte, the palace once owned by Napoleon’s mother, opened to the public in 2019 and is currently hosting an incredible exhibit of 50 impressionist paintings from private collections that are rarely seen in public. The palazzo is right on Piazza Venezia and the show runs through 8 March 2020. The paintings are all displayed in the former apartments, so the pricey show (€15 a ticket) is worth it to experience to the grandeur of the palace in addition to the rare artwork currently on its walls.
Centrale Montemartini: Centrale Montemartini is my favorite hidden museum in Rome. It now has even more reasons to visit thanks to a special display of Etruscan pottery alongside the Roman marble and decommissioned machinery of the old electric plant. The exhibit runs through 2 February 2020.
More January 2020 Events in Rome will be added as they are announced!